With the holidays here already (seriously, where did the year go?!?!), it’s time to start thinking about gifts for various industry people you have worked with/hope to work with. So in preparation of the gift-giving season, here are 10 ideas for gifts that won’t necessarily break the bank.
1) Gift cards for coffee
These are a default gift for me to get for casting offices that I’ve had an audition or two for this past year, or for people who I have met at an event and really are hoping to work with. For casting offices, I try to look up on IMDbPro how many people are in the office and then get $5 for everyone there (I usually add in one or two extras for any interns not listed online). I don’t have a ton of auditions each year, so I don’t have to buy a ton of these gift cards. And I can find them at a discount at Costco from time to time, so when I see them on sale, I usually stock up and save them for the holiday.
2) Spa gift cards
I have given these to my agents in the past. Again, I find them at a discount at Costco. You can get 2 $50 gift cards for SpaFinder for about $70. I have 2 agents, so this deal works out perfectly for me! I usually write something in the card about them working so hard that I wanted to make sure they would have some time to relax.
3) Non-food gift basket
This time of year, so many offices get food gifts. A lot of it gets thrown out (or not eaten if it isn’t something packaged and known to be safe). To stand out and make sure your gift can actually be used, get something other than food. Flowers are great.
4) If you are going to go with getting something food related, you want to either get pre-packaged food or something ordered from a trusted service (cookie bouquets or Edible Arrangements are popular).
If you make cookies, some offices that don’t know you that well won’t risk eating them in case there is something they are allergic to or not cooked properly. I’ve made this mistake in the past. As great as homemade food is, it’s not worth putting in all that work if everything goes straight to the trash.
5) Tickets or gift cards to local attractions
Both my agents love Disneyland. So last year, I got them both gift cards for Disneyland. The amount wasn’t enough for a ticket (they have annual passes) but I wrote in the card that the gift cards were for Dole Whips (a favorite treat). If you know the person you are sending the gift to loves Disneyland or maybe a local museum; tickets, a gift card, or a membership to that place can be a wonderful gift that can be taken advantage of for a while.
6) Restaurant gift card (or eat24hours.com or seamless.com gift card)
Most everyone works super hard and long hours all the time. Getting a gift card for a restaurant near their office or for a food delivery service can make sure that the office is getting fed and not working hungry when they are working hard for you. If you are getting a gift card for a specific restaurant, make sure that it fits into any dietary restrictions that the recipient has.
7) iTunes gift card
One of the first years I was with my agents, I got them both iTunes gift cards and wrote in the cards that these were so they could download all the TV shows that I would hopefully be booking in the coming year. Almost everyone uses iTunes for something, so these are another good “generic” gift to get for casting offices that you’ve been in once or twice.
8) Netflix/Hulu gift card
Pretty much everyone uses Netflix and/or Hulu these days. Gifting someone a 3 or 6 months subscription is a great idea, and will almost always go to good use right away. I know that I personally have gotten a Netflix gift subscription in the past and it was one of my favorite holiday gifts that year.
9) A donation to a charity in someone’s name is a great gift, especially if you know of a charity that is close to that person’s heart.
There are a lot of charities that do wonderful cards for donations that are made as gifts, so you don’t just have to write in a card that you made a donation in their name.
10) A simple card
Sometimes, the best gift is just a card just saying that you want them to have a wonderful holiday season and hopefully you will have a chance to work with them in the new year. I don’t include my headshot (or business card with my headshot on it), because then it looks like you are trying to get something out of sending a card. I just sign it with my name, and if the recipient wants to find me, I’m pretty easy to find on a google search.
No matter what gifts you get, I highly recommend dropping off what you can in person. Especially for your agents or manager. Any face time you can get with them is great, and dropping off a holiday gift is a great excuse to get to see them. It might be tougher to drop off gifts for casting offices, so mailing them is fine if you are unsure if doing an in-person drop off would be ok.
Hopefully this list will give you some ideas of gifts that you can get for industry people this holiday season. I know that there are a ton of great gift ideas that I didn’t put on this list (or even ideas that I don’t know about at all), so I’d love to see your favorite industry gifts in the comments!